hello there, and welcome to newsline it's wednesday march 25th i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. rescue crews in the french alpes are waiting for the sun to rise to continue their search operations. the passenger plane crashed into a mountainside. french officials say it's highly likely all 150 people on board are dead. the airbus was operated by luf tanz saturday's airline. it went down in southeastern france.
debris is scattered for hundreds of meters in the french alps. authorities have recovered the black box. aviation experts are trying to figure out the cause of the crash. the ceo of the airlines said the plane was flying at 38,000 feet when it lost altitude and rapidly descended for eight minutes. he said the aircraft lost contact with a control tower about 50 minutes after it took off. german wings believes citizens of germany, spain and france were on board. german chancellor angela merkel say people in her country share deep grief with the other countries. >> translator: there are many victims from this disaster, including germans. we'll do everything we can to find the cause of this catastrophe. i'll be going there as well. >> japanese foreign ministry officials quote diplomats in spain as saying two names likely to be japanese are
included in the passenger list. french president francois holland and mariano rahoi are to visit the task force headquarters. the presidents of the united states and afghanistan have agreed to slow the pace of the american troop withdrawal from afghanistan. the two countries had planned to have the number of u.s. troops by the year end. the u.s. will now maintain the current force of 9,800 throughout this year. barack obama met at the white house on tuesday. he asked obama to slow the withdrawal because the worsening security situation. some afghan groups are claiming loyalty to islamic state militants. but the leaders confirmed they will not change the plan to withdrawal all u.s. forces by the end of to 16. >> we agreed to continue to keep in place our close security
cooperation. afghanistan remains a dangerous place. >> the flexibility that has been provided for 2015 will be used to ensure the national security forces are much better let equipped trained and are focused on their fundamental mission. >> most of the u.s. led international forces pulled out of afghanistan by the end of december following the completion of their combat mission. an attack on a bus in eastern afghanistan underlines a country's fragile security. gunmen opened fire killing 13 passengers. the bus was traveling south in wardak province. a region known to have a strong militant province. four troops ended their combat role in the country late last
year. the security situation remains unstable. afghan forces are now facing insurgencies on their own including the taliban. there's growing concern about whether the country can maintain order and promote reconstruction. thousands of women have taken to the streets in the capital, they're protesting the lynching of a woman falsely accused of burning the koran. protesters carried banners bearing the face of the victim and called for justice. police did nothing to prevent the killing. 27-year-old farkunda was beaten to death by a kabul mob of men last week. they lit her on fire and threw her body into a river. there's no evidence she had burned the koran. his announcement fueled the protests.
>> the president condemned the killing and ordered an investigation into her death. 28 suspects have been arrested. and 20 police officers have been dismissed. chinese authorities say they've executed 3 men convicted of a deadly knife attack at a train station last year. the men are believed to be muslim muslim. announced on line on tuesday, the death sentence was enforced according to the law. the men were part of a group who randomly attacked people with knives, at the station in march last year. the attack last 31 people dead and 141 injured. four others were shot dead by
police. a high court sentenced the three to death in october for murder and organizing a terrorist group. a fourth defendant a woman was sentenced to life in prison. china has tightened border control in the countries southwest since the incident. it's to prevent people from trying to leave the country illegally to join islamic militant activities, these people are trying to carry out terrorist attacks in china. u.s. government officials have released the latest inflation data. lower oil prices seem to have kept inflation down for some time. is this still the case? >> a pungent crude oil price has kept the consumer price index below zero since november. the cpi being the key inflation indicator. gasoline prices do appear to have stabilized and the index rose last month for the first time in four months.
the u.s. labor department released the cpi or february it was up 0.2% from the previous month. the u.s. federal reserve has suggested it would raise its key interest rate from near zero once it confirms its 2% inflation target can be achieved. let's check on markets, we saw further losses overnight on wall street, as investors there waited for more cues on market direction. the dow jones industrial average falling more than half a% and just above 18,000. the tech heavy nasdaq losing a third of a percent to end just below 5,000. to see how markets here are starting the day, ramin mel la guard joins us from the tokyo stock exchange. the focus here has been the key 20,000 level. we may have to wait a bit longer for that. >> exactly. we may have to wait just a little bit. markets a little bit higher this morning. investors just look to be
looking closely at the dollar levels as well. which have come off those recent peaks and that may be holding back some sentiment. let's have a look at the opening levels for the nikkei and the toppism, both in the positive 19756. we're way off the the 20,000 level. the nikkei was down yesterday, on tuesday, by weaker than expected manufacturing data in china. flash pmi figures on tuesday, showed another contraction, in fact the lowest reading since april, that's led a lot of analysts to think policy makers in china may have to cut interest rates further, as well as reserve requirements for commercial banks, so a lot of focus on china's economy as well. >> on the dollar a lot of people waiting for upcoming data that could sway trading there, what's up next and where are the key currency pairs now? >> you just mentioned some of the inflation data that was closely watched as well.
right now, dollar yen, 119.75 to 78. it has recovered. relatively flat against the yen, analysts say the dollar may see another move higher. if upcoming data provides further evidence that it's on the right track with its views on raising rates. of course the key factors according to a lot of analysts are higher wage growth and also if core inflation is heading toward the feds target of 2% a lot of factors playing into how the fed may think looking at the data. >> we did see slightly better performance in eurozone stocks on tuesday. how has that affected the euro. >> pretty upbeat data that was after preliminary composite index rose to 54.1 in march. the highest reading since may 2011. that provided a bit of a boost as you can see some of the stocks there especially the dax
having traded up almost 1%. the eurozone economy is gaining traction. we may also have to track oil and energy related shares, the -- some of the key birth marks have dipped a touch. you're looking at ici brent there, also industrial metals going through volatile swings. investors really trying to gauge demand from china after faltering manufacturing data on tuesday. so i will be checking all those markets and, of course how they may affect japanese shares throughout the morning session. back to you. >> talk to you in a few hours, japanese automaker mitsubishi motors wants to grab a bigger share of the auto market in southeast asia. mitsubishi officials held a groundbreaking ceremony in the west java province. the new plan will cost about 500
million dollars to build. company executives say up to 160,000 vehicles a year are scheduled to roll out of the new factory. that would be twice the firms current production capacity in indonesia. the plant will build small multipurpose vehicles. some will be exported to other southeast asian countries. >> expanding the region is a core-mark et for mitsubishi motors. and especially one of the most important strategies as it is expected to achieve further growth. >> mitsubishi officials say the plant will make them the second major regional hub after thailand. 1.2 million cars were sold in indonesia last year more than double the number in 2010. millions of people walk-through london's piccadilly circus each
year. the centerpiece of that space is up for grabs for the first time in a quarter of a century. the contract for the current occupant japan's tdk is up. the electronics parts maker is withdrawing their huge ad after 25 years. tdk's exit marks an end to nearly four decades at piccadilly circus. the area is now filled with billboards from u.s. and south ye an companies. japanese residents in london feel that the times are changing. >> i think japan's presence is getting weak. >> south korea and other countries are making economic growth. >> tdk officials say they don't need the advertising so much. the firm shifted its focus to products for corporate consumers. consumers around the world can't
get enough of beef. growing demand in china is butting pressure on the global supply and driving up prices. in january of last year the chinese government expanded imports of beef. this policy had had an impact on beef lovers in japan, where 60% of the beef consumed comes from overseas. japanese traders are finding it ever harder to compete with chinese buyers for dwindling supplies. >> china's growing appetite for beef is taking a bite out of this tokyo trading firm supply. >> we can't get enough. things are getting worse every day. >> they're explaining the situation to a company that processes beef for restaurants. in just six months the price of a common cut of beef has risen by 50%. >> i was really surprised the price had gone up so much. >> why is china buying up so
much beef. beijing hosted an international food expo last november. consumption is expanding in step with the rise in china's per capita gdp. as the chinese diet becomes more westernized, beef consumption is exploding. this is true even outside the major cities. this plant processes beef imported from australia. the facility will be skparnded this year to meet demand. this trader handles about $2.5 million worth of imported beef. >> japanese people are concerned that china is buying up all the beef. >> if so why don't they buy from me.
they should come here. we've got plenty of beef. >> he's come up with a plan to compete with china's beef buyers. he's thinking of switching to cuts that normally go into ground beef. >> we can't allow people to lose access to whatever they want to eat. i think our mission is to protect japanese people from falling into that kind of situation. >> china's growing hunger for beef could mean lean times ahead for japanese buyers. that's all for now in business news i'll leave you with a check on markets.
every morning, investors turn our attention to asia. the tokyo market leads the way. markets around the world follow. >> from the decisions that could change the course of an economy. >> typical economies at the forefront of change. >> up to the minute market reports. >> an analysis by specialists from around the world. >> get all the latest business news and insight every day here on newsline. >> japan's defense minister is standing firm on a plan to move a u.s. air base in okinawa.
an order from the prefectural governor to suspend relocation work is invalid. >> i was not aware of any problems in the procedures leading up to the survey. so the government will continue with the plan. >> the central government plans to reclaim land in a coastal area to construct an alternative base. okinawa governor says offshore survey work has probably damaged reefs in unauthorized areas. he has told the regional bureau of the defense ministry to suspend the work within a week. if ministry officials don't cooperate, he will revoke a permit issued by the previous governor. the defense minister says the installation of concrete blocks doesn't require permission because it doesn't change the sea bed. defense ministry officials have filed a request with the agriculture minister who
overseas marine resource protection. the governor is criticizing the central government for continuing the survey. >> we will see how the central government will follow through before deciding on our response. >> the leader of the largest opposition party says he's worried the state and the prefecture may end up arguing national security in court. >> the prime minister and the chief cabinet secretary should discuss the matter thoroughly with the governor do seek a good solution. >> the chief cabinet secretary says the central government will continue the work as plan edned. >> we want to proceed with the work to reduce any dangers from futenma air station, which is called the world's most dangerous base. and close it down.
>> there have been demonstrators near the site of the planned base. government leaders say they want people in okinawa to understand the relocation is necessary for national security and to reduce the burden on the prefecture hosting u.s. military base ss. >> members of a japanese theater troop are wondering how to make a classical art form resonate with the next generation. aging performers and audiences, the troop is taking on a new challenge of staying true to the art form while trying to draw in new spectators nhk world's ugi osaou reports. ♪ >> the opening scene is typical.
showing people praying for good harvest. the backdrop is anything but . an area popular among young people and tourists. >> the mobile was constructed in less than two days at a cost of more than $800,000. during the break, performers explained how puppet ears can make a doll seem realistics. efforts are to reach out for people people. in the main play, features a princess, who sues a man who betrays her. the shape shifting puppet
surprises the audience. >> translator: they will become more familiar if more performances are held. i definitely want to come again. >> it's a great way of putting the traditional into the modern. so it's very refreshing and very interest ing interesting combination. >> this puppeteer says he will keep working to find new audiences. >> performing traditional in new environments is a good way to attract newcomers. >> it started more than 300 years ago, it's an registered as an intangible cultural heritage by unesco. but they're now facing
challenges. at the administrative reforms, they've led to cuts in government subsidies, called traditional japanese arts. the artists have been enlisting the help of script writers and directors from other fields. to try to expand their audience s s. the puppets made a surprise appearance in the modern opera, using voice synthesizer ss. young people not familiar with the art form enjoy the real at motion fear. >> i hope we could make more people familiar and inspire them to come back to the theater. i really hope to continue our
efforts. >> performers will hold another outdoor performance in october. they want to take it on the road staging a performance at the 2016 olympics. >> as we've been reporting, a german wings passenger plane has crashed in the french alps. there were 150 people on board, french police are waiting until wednesday morning to continue their recovery effort. whether plays a crucial role in that effort, our meteorologist tells us what he's seeing. >> before i get into that actually do want to mention that it doesn't look like weather should have played a major role in the downing of this aircraft what we were seeing at the time here the winds were rather light. a modern large aircraft likely was not impacted by this.
we have some storm systems a little further down to our south, this was outside the root of the flight. as far as recovery efforts. it's going to play a major role out here. what we have is this storm system just off of southern spain, this is now pushing in this moisture from the south across the mediterranean, and what we are going to be seeing over the next 48 hours is widespread rainshowers, even in the higher elevations some snow. we have rough terrain where this plane could go down. the same storm system already has been causing some problems. i actually want to show you some images really quick out of eastern spain. now, this is not associated with the plane crash, but it just shows you what we're talking about here with this weather that is moving into the area. heavy rains caused flash flooding here in eastern spain on monday. firefighters had to rescue some people, who were trapped in their homes and cars.
the same storm system moving very slow. the key thing i want you to note here look at the jet stream. whenever you have these big dips in the jet stream typically does indicate the storm is moving rather slow. if it was just moving from west to east, it would indicate it's moving at a fast pace. pump that moisture up from the south, at least for the next 48 hours, especially in the higher elevations you're seeing the snowfall snowfall. rescue crews are going to have a hard time out there. as it moves through the east we're going to start to see some improving conditions. definitely an important and ongoing story here. i want to talk about what else is going on in much of europe and around the world. down there toward madrid you're seeing 100 kilometer an hour winds. back toward the east also some unstable weather there in eastern portions of the mediterranean. sunny skies in your forecast. talking about severe weather. lots to see what's going on in
the americas we have this storm system kicking up across the central plains ping-pong ball sized hail has been reported in some of these areas out here in missouri. you're still going to be seeing that threat of hail as we look through the next 24 hours on wednesday here. especially during the afternoon, the evening hours, not so much of a damaging wind threat or tornado here but this is going to continue to move overhead as it moves over toward the northeast. pulling cold air behind it you will be feeling some snowfall as well. late winter storm, a few centimeters may be accumulating out here. winnipeg with a high of minus 1, denver with a high of 8, a rain/snow mix, look south of that oklahoma city with 26 some thunderstorms there on your wednesday. the big difference in the air masses here. let's wrap things up here in the eastern asia storm system off there in northern japan. continuing to bring high waves to the coast. gusting winds with it high pressure is coming in behind it
rights. how cambodia is trying to keep its wildlife safe from poachers. the second richest country in the world fails to provide a roof over the heads of some two and a half million children who are homeless in america. latest figures show the economy is picking up again. still new york alone has some